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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Protecting the community from Coronavirus (COVID-19)

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As we move towards living COVIDSafe, it is important that you stay home if you are unwell. If you have cold or flu like symptoms you should seek medical advice about having a test for COVID-19. People with mild symptoms can still spread the virus.

Testing for COVID-19

Testing identifies if patients have COVID-19 and helps health authorities track the spread of the virus.

Early diagnosis means you can take steps to avoid spreading the virus to your friends or family. If you have a fever, cough, sore throat or shortness of breath, it is important you get tested.

Testing is even more important if you are unwell and:

  • you have recently returned to Australia from overseas. All travellers will be quarantined for 14 days on arrival into Australia;
  • you have been in close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 in the past 14 days;
  • you are a health care, aged care or residential care worker or staff member with direct patient contact.

Where can I get tested?

You can contact your doctor to arrange a test or you can attend a respiratory clinic. If you visit your doctor, it is important to contact the clinic first and tell them your symptoms. This will help them prepare for your arrival and protect other people at the clinic.

Respiratory clinics are health centres around the country focusing on testing people with acute respiratory infection symptoms. To find a respiratory clinic near you, visit www.health.gov.au/covid19-clinics. Your state or territory may have extra clinics where you can get tested. You can find them through your state or territory health websites.

If you get tested for the virus, you need to stay at home and avoid contact with other people. It may take a day or two for your test results to come back.

If you have serious symptoms such as difficulty breathing, you should call 000 for urgent medical attention.

Help stop the spread

To protect our communities, everyone should continue to practise physical distancing and good hygiene. Make sure you stay 1.5 metres away from other people and stay at home if you are unwell. Wash your hands with soap and water and cough or sneeze into your arm. We can all do our bit to help stop the spread of COVID-19. 

Download the COVIDSafe App

If you haven’t already, download the COVIDSafe app to help protect your family, friends and the community. The app supports public health officials to notify people who have been in contact with someone with coronavirus.

More information about COVID-19

It is important to stay informed through official sources. Visit www.australia.gov.au, call the Coronavirus Helpline on 1800 020 080 or the translating and interpreting service on 131 450.

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